SOS – Session Over Soon
By Jan Teague, President/CEO
Of course, the Legislative session just started this week, but with the blink of an eye, it will be over. You will look back at the two months of legislative meetings and hearings and wonder what happened.
During a short session, last year’s bills come alive. They get talked about but most often don’t get approved. New bills get talked about, too, but most often don’t get passed and are used as campaign sound bites during election season.
During the recession, legislators had rough, short two-month sessions looking at more budget cuts as the news about revenue projections was never good. This year the budget projections are good. The budget is solid. There shouldn’t be a budget debate of any substance. Legislators will work on funding education and that will take some time, but from what I understand, it is a strategic planning exercise to finish the timeline for funding education.
You may read updates that the legislature is talking about the minimum wage, but I don’t see the legislature doing anything on it. There is now an initiative that will likely move forward for next fall’s ballot ($11 in 2017;
$11.50 in 2018; $12.00 in 2019; and $13.50 in 2020). It includes a week of paid sick leave with no consideration for size of business. I was thinking today that it means a business would have to pay twice, once with a replaced worker and once for the absent worker. It’s a much bigger deal than people realize. The wage increase will eventually raise prices. We wonder why the cost of living is so high. Here is one example of many that answers the question.
The short session will be high powered and legislators will blast to the finish line. The election year is upon them and it takes a lot of fundraising to compete for these seats. There is talk they may try to get done early.
If association members have an interest in being on weekly government affairs calls, please let Mark Johnson know with an email to Mark.Johnson@
retailassociation.org. They last 30 minutes and will give you highlights of the week and what to expect in the upcoming week. Mark also has a bi-monthly small business call beginning this Friday at 3:00.